If you want to upgrade your door set, these choices from Weiserlock are beautiful and very classic — they definitely have a retro feel to me. When you are out at estate sales and inside mid century houses, make sure to notice little details like this. I remember one sale about two years ago just down the street from me… the modern house had the most gorgeous door sets… identical throughout the house – quite similar to the Weiserlock Troy above, although smaller. I remember that the slightly smaller scale, the repetition throughout the house, and the great “hand feel” made them so special. I am sure I looked nutso, pausing among the frenzy to adore them.

In terms of finish – I need to pay more attention to what I see in vintage homes, but in general, I think there weren’t many choices. Go brass in the main house, chrome in the bathrooms. In a 40s house and for some reason – Capes,  I think that crystal knobs are delightful. Little touches like this — like diamond earrings — can make our little boxes oh so delightful.

This post was originally published on June 30, 2008.

  1. Sam R says:

    The basic design of what’s now called the “Troy” has been in production for decades. They were the original doorknobs on my house from 1954. The vintage knobs had simpler backplates, though.

    1. pam kueber says:

      Thanks for the tip, Erik, I’ll do an update spotlight story! I agree — it’s really nice!

  2. Abby Vanderbilt says:

    Hi Pam,
    Your post on door knobs has been helpful in directing me to knobs that have a retro feel. I am looking for a polished chrome knob for my kid’s new retro bathroom. What do you think of this option? It looks similar to the Weiser lock in the troy design that you recommended but in chrome. What I can’t figure our is how big the knob is. It seems that retro knobs were smaller? Thanks for your help. Your site is always so fun to peruse!


    1. pam kueber says:

      I like it! On the size question: I think that back in the day there were more knobs that were smaller…. Today, they all seem to be one size. So, yes, you can go either way. So smart of you to notice! It’s funny, when I go to estate sales — if I’m really being mindful — I always check out the doorknobs inside the house — it’s so amazing that these houses had different details even down to the light switch covers and the door knobs!

      I might have to do an uploader!

  3. Lorie says:

    Pam, do you happen to know of a good source for a nice tulip style privacy door knob? My googling has resulted in very little information and I’m afraid that the companies have just stopped making them (and haven’t caught on yet that we would like to have some!).

    I would love to get some like these:

    I also would love to know who made these knobs that I have in my 1964 2 story country ranch house in DFW (sorry for the repost, but it really is driving me crazy!!) :

    They seem to be brass (of some sort) and chrome but the pattern varies from knob to knob. I keep remembering your post above about how door knobs are the jewelry of your house. 🙂


    1. Juliet says:

      The manufacturer of the door knob in the second photo is the Beverly style made by Weiser–this name is usually seen on the faceplate of the latch. I’m looking for Weiser Beverly (passage in bright brass and bright brass/chrome for bath)–I picked up the copper/chrome combination when I found them thinking it might work for me, but have decided against it. Would love to swap (or sell) the copper/chrome: 3 passage, 2 bath, and one that is a knob on one side and a lever on the other (the lever is like what you see on some deadbolts but there’s a standard latch).

  4. Hillary says:

    I have some unusual brass doorknobs in my 1948 ranch. One of them has a broken mechanism and I’d like to replace it but I don’t know what this style of doorknob is called. I have combed doorknob sites (both modern and vintage/antique reproductions) without any luck, but I think my searching is limited when I don’t know the right terms. Instead of a standard borehole, there’s an elongated half-round cut out of the side of the door and the mechanism with handles slides in from the edge. Any ideas?


  5. Lorie says:

    I’ve got door knobs like this in my house:

    The combo of chrome and brass (or copper??) finish flip flops from door knob to door knob. Sometimes the brass is on the chrome part of the knob in the picture example.

    Most are in OK condition but have some pitting on them and the finish is just plain rubbed off in some places.

    I have no idea who made these. Do you? I’m pretty sure they are original to my 1964 ranch–I’m only the third owner of the home.

    1. Devin says:

      Billy – do you know what the type of knob you described is called? My 1956 ranch has all the original knobs, which lock on the inside by pushing in the knob and turning it clockwise.

      Are these types of knobs still made? I don’t even know what to ask for!


    2. Jrc says:

      I have been restoring my 1958 bungalow and am trying to match the exact same door handle that Billy showed a picture of. I m pretty sure it is a weiser Troy (an earlier version). If anyone knows of a place to get some more I would love to hear from them. Thanks!

  6. Palm Springs Stephan says:

    Jane is correct: it’s all in the details. I just went through a major drama trying to replace a badly damaged door knob set on my bathroom door. Try finding interior door knobs in chrome finish and tulip shaped (also called bell-shaped, both similar to the Richmond seen here)! Yikes! Lots of brass, lots of faux-bronze, lots of brushed stainless, but no chrome. I ended up special ordering through a local locksmith and waiting several weeks for the delivery … and I paid premium for it. But it was worth it!

  7. Jane says:

    I think it’s so important to get the hardware right when restoring any house. Those smaller details of the house have the power to make or break a good renovation. Pam has observed that they’re the jewelry of the house, so don’t overlook them. I like these pieces a lot, especially the Troy. Their slightly smaller size is great!

  8. Elizabeth Mary says:

    Hi Pam, Just thought I would add that in my 1946 Cape Cod Ranch there is also a chrome handle on the kitchen door that goes to the main hallway — chrome on the kitchen side and brass on the hallway side. Same for the bathroom door. No glass handles and I wish there were.

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